• Kate Stapleton

What is a Bridal Session? | Lake Tahoe Wedding Photographer | Kate Stapleton

Updated: Nov 14, 2020

Oftentimes time is very limited on a wedding day. There are many factors that play into making a wedding day timeline such as: traffic delays, hiccups while getting ready, the weather and lots of other things. In my experience, it's helpful when these scenarios are already anticipated so we can give more cushion to certain parts of the day that is most important to the couple. This is why I always recommend that my couples and I work on a photography timeline together so we have a guide that helps us navigate the day in a more strategic manner. However, I do want to point out that as good as it might look on paper, a timeline isn't a guarantee that the day will actually unfold the way it's planned.

It's really important to be realistic with the fact that we need to give some flexibility because having room for error allows us to use time wisely if or when the timeline runs behind. I definitely always keep this reality in the back of my mind and encourage my couples to do so as well.

When I help my couples draft a timeline, I help them cushion plenty of time for bridal portraits. But just like anything else, the buffer doesn't guarantee that we will have the entirety of the allotted time for what we need.

This is where Bridal Sessions come in.

What is a Bridal Session anyway?

You've probably heard of Engagement Sessions. And if you have, you're pretty familiar with the reasons behind why it's important to get in front of my camera and work with me before your wedding day. And if you don't, I'll briefly walk you through a few of the reasons:

Firstly, an engagement session is really very engaging! I love to have fun with my couples so during the session I guide you through a few different scenarios (some that are silly) but it's how I get the most genuine reactions. Second, I get to know your dynamic as a couple. I take pride in taking time getting to know who you are as individuals and, of course, also as a couple. I've worked with many couples to know that it's important for me to know your personalities, your likes and dislikes, and most of all, your needs. Having you in front of my camera allows for vulnerability and it's a natural way for me to understand how I can serve you better based on that. Lastly, while it's important for me to know you I also think it's imperative for you to know me as well. I'm not just a photographer. I'm also a wife and a momma so I have fun little quirks in my personality that crossover with my roles that you'll likely experience from me. With that said, it's super special when I make a connection with you before your wedding day because the comfortability factor is already there.

In this sense, Bridal Sessions are similar to Engagement Sessions. The biggest difference between the two sessions are that engagement sessions involve you and your future spouse while a bridal session involves only one of you at the session.

In the olden days, bridal portraits were done as oil paintings of the bride in her wedding attire commissioned by one of the families to commemorate the special day. Today, bridal portraits are taken as photographs typically at least three months before the wedding day.

Here are three reasons why a Bridal Session could be beneficial for you:

1. You get more photos of you in your wedding gown without feeling rushed.

If having more photos in your wedding gown is a must-have for you then I absolutely recommend a Bridal Session. Not only will you be able to enjoy being in your wedding gown but you'll feel more relaxed. As you know, your timeline doesn't guarantee enough time for portraits even with a buffer. When you feel rushed on your wedding day, you get frazzled and unfortunately it can potentially show. At your bridal session, the setting is more relaxed and the experience is completely based on having fun in your wedding gown!

2. You get to explore scenic locations that you would otherwise not experience.

I always make sure you have bridal portraits taken on your wedding day but to keep you hidden from your guests these photos are typically done indoors inside your bridal suite. A bridal session allows for you to realize your dreams elegantly in a scenic location of your choice. Have you always dreamed of prancing around Lake Tahoe? Or maybe the desert is more your style? You will be happy to know that your vision can become a reality at any location of your choice for your Bridal Session!

3. You get to gift a Bridal Album to your spouse.

A Bridal Session is very exclusive. No one will see you in your wedding attire other than the people you choose to be involved. Your images will be kept a secret from your future spouse and if you choose to put a Bridal Album together as a gift then we will go through the process of designing, printing, and publishing it well before your wedding day.

Those are the top three reasons for a Bridal Session but the added benefit is that your Bridal Session is also a trial for your hair/makeup and floral bouquet. If you want to make changes with your look or bouquet or if there are alterations needed to be done on your gown that could make you more comfortable on your wedding day then you'll have plenty of time to make those changes.

If you're detail oriented, you will find a lot of comfort in doing a Bridal Session and most of all you'll have plenty of fun!

Scroll through below to see my most recent Bridal Session.

Location: Reno, NV

Hair & Makeup: Kristina Nierman of Nancy Rice Artistry

Floral hair adornment & floral bouquet: Awesome Blossom Floral Design

Bride: Mia Casazza